China’s largest cross border B2C platform Tmall Global has just made it a whole lot easier for foreign merchants to sell their goods on the platform and in turn reach millions of hungry Chinese consumers. This will allow international brands to manage their market entry into China in a more efficient and low risk way.
How have Tmall Made it Easier?
The marketplace, has launched an English-language website to streamline the process for international brands that want to sell on the platform. They have also reduced the regulation making it a lot easier for western companies to open up their own flagship stores. Qian deputy manager of Tmall Global commented that the launch of this English-language portal will speed up the process for western brands to introduce their products and services to Chinese consumers’.
Previously western brands needed to get approached by Tmall Global to generally have a chance to get their store listed. Now with this new portal merchants will be able to make their pitch directly to Tmall Global. All applicants need to do is fill out a questionnaire to describe their business. Tmall Global will then contact successful applicants within 72 hours to discuss the process. The process used to take months, a deterrent to any western brands hoping to get their online stores listed.
Chinese Consumers Hunger for Western Brands
Chinese consumers are increasingly looking for high-quality products from international brands. In 2018 China’s total imports reached over $2 trillion an increase of 15.8% from the previous year according to the Ministry of Commerce.
Last month we conducted 3 focus groups in Shanghai with middle class Chinese consumers who earn between $1,000 – $2,000 a month. 70% of participants said they would be prepared to pay a premium for like for like foreign products. 90% of participants said they had in the last 5 years increased their purchasing of western brands. Reasons cited for this were; greater accessibility to buy western brands, trust in western brands & a general higher quality.
Huge Investment in China Imports
President Xi recently announced at the Chinese International Import Expo that imports of goods would surpass $30 trillion within the next 15 years. Alibaba have also recently promised $200 billion worth of international goods into China over the next five years through its platforms.
Once western brands have entered China and opened a store, Tmall Global will continue to offer a range of services to help them connect effectively to Chinese consumers. The platform offers live-streaming, and other marketing tools which will resonate with Chinese consumers.
Any western brand looking to test the waters in the Chinese market now has a great tool to get them going, a tool which can be processed quickly and doesn’t require a huge investment